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Grant to fund student exchange program
Pictured, left to right: Georgia Southern President Bruce Grube; Rick Terrell, Coastal Division Vice President, Coca Cola United; Dennis Key, Statesboro Sales Center Manager for Coca Cola; Nancy Shumaker, director of the Center for International Studies. - photo by SPECIAL PHOTO
    Students from Georgia Southern University now have an opportunity to trade places with students at Huazhong Normal University in Wuhan, China, for a semester.
    The same goes for students at Huazhong Normal, who will be able to study at Georgia Southern. With support from the Coca-Cola Foundation, the two universities have created a faculty and student exchange program designed to prepare students from both nations to work successfully together in the global marketplace.
    “We are enormously grateful to the Coca-Cola Foundation for their $200,000 grant to implement this exchange,” said Nancy Shumaker, director of Georgia Southern’s Center for International Studies. “Coca-Cola is recognized in both China and the U.S. as a leader in corporate social responsibility, and this gift demonstrates that leadership in the area of higher education.”
    “The Coca-Cola Foundation is proud to continue our support of Georgia Southern University by fostering cultural understanding between students at Georgia Southern and Huazhong Normal,” said Ingrid Saunders Jones, chair, The Coca-Cola Foundation.  “It is through programs like Georgia Southern University’s International Student Exchange that students develop a global perspective.”
    The grant funds 10 $4,500 scholarships a year from 2007 to 2010. Each year, five students from Georgia Southern will spend a semester at Huazhong Normal and five students from Huazhong Normal will spend a semester at Georgia Southern. The grant also includes $5,000 a year for faculty members from each university to participate in the program.
    “Coca-Cola’s gift will allow Georgia Southern students to study in China and learn more about the concerns we share, particularly the political, economic, social and ecological concerns,” said Georgia Southern President Bruce Grube. “Our goal is to build increasingly effective bridges for international communication and intercultural cooperation.”     
    Georgia Southern is currently hosting Meng Deng, a Fulbright Scholar and professor of education at Huazhong University; Liu Yan, a Chinese language instructor; Gaohua Gui, a graduate student in the College of Education; and several Chinese undergraduates in a variety of academic programs.
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